In Jerusalem Jesus saw a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. That is a long time for a person to be sick. This man had been crippled all these years. When Jesus saw him, the first thing He asked him was, “Do you want to be made well?” Sin cripples people. It is a sickness and Jesus came into the world to cure us of it. The question is, do we want to be made well? Many of us are crippled too long with sin and it is time we stop making excuses.
When Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed, his reply was, “Lord, I don’t have anyone to put me in the pool when the water is stirred up. I try to get in, but someone else always gets there first”. Too often we rely on others to take care of us-to help us feel better. Or sometimes we do not try hard enough and others end up getting ahead of us. People were getting into the pool before this man because they were making the effort-they were not waiting for someone to put them in. They wanted to be healed so they acted.
Jesus told the man, “Rise, take thy bed and walk”. It is interesting to note that Jesus spoke rather than laid hands on him. And His word was just as effective as His touch. Also, the man had to make the effort. He actually got up, picked up his mat and walked. The man was immediately healed. The man did not know who Jesus was. He did not ask Jesus to take him to the pool. Instead he did what Jesus told him.
Later Jesus found the man in the temple and told him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” (John 5:14). The man left, probably resolved to do as Jesus commanded him. From this we see that if we continue in sin the worst that can come unto us is losing the promise of eternal life. The eternal consequences of sin are far worse than any physical ailment. It could cause this man’s name to be blotted out of the Lamb’s Book of Life. It could cost him his inheritance of the Kingdom prepared for all of us.
Many of us are cherishing a sin that cripples us. What would you do if Jesus came to you and asked, “Do you want to get well?” What would you say to Him? Jesus wants us to be well—physically, emotionally and spiritually. He wants to say to us, “Get up!” He shouldn’t have to come to us and ask us this question. We should go to Him. The man should have found some way to get to the pool—even if he had to crawl. The woman who had the bleeding disease wanted so desperately to get well that she went to Jesus. She made her way through the large crowd and getting down on her knees, she reached out to touch the hem of His robe. She had faith that she would be healed and she acted. The man showed lack of faith by not acting instead, he watched as others got healed.
Although the cripple showed not faith, Jesus healed him anyway. Sometimes, God comes to us where we are stuck and offers us healing. Do you want to get well? Do you want to stop living a sinful life? Do you want to kick a habit that you have tried to for years but failed? Come to Jesus. Don’t lie there, waiting for someone to seek help for you. Don’t lie there watching others get the help you need. Say to yourself, “Lord Jesus, I want to get well. Please help me.” And He will. Remember victory is yours through Christ, who loves you (Romans 8:37).